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Updated: 39 min 56 sec ago

What are my Options when I Am Out of Grass?

Wed, 04/20/2022 - 10:59
Sunday, May 1, 2022

As the drought that has plagued the western Great Plains for over a year spreads across the Midwest, producers are making hard decisions about cowherd management. Drought is no stranger to most cow-calf producers so most have a plan for culling decisions related to about 20% of the cow herd. When drought threatens the grazing resources for the other 80%, difficult decisions have to be made. The first question that must be answered is should I feed them or sell them.

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Limit Feeding with a Bale Feeder, Bunk and a Bucket

Tue, 04/19/2022 - 15:00
Sunday, May 1, 2022

Drought conditions are challenging producers to be creative as they think about options for maintaining the cowherd through the summer with limited summer pasture forage projected to be available.  Several research studies conducted at the University of Nebraska have shown that cows can be managed effectively utilizing a limit fed ration.  In a limit fed ration, the nutrient requirements of cattle are met with a diet that is less than the actual amount of dry matter that the cattle would eat if they had full access to all they could eat.

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Aminopyralids: Restrictions for Grazing, Compost and Manure

Tue, 04/19/2022 - 14:53
Sunday, May 1, 2022

The prices of synthetic fertilizers have increased significantly over the last year, leaving growers and even homeowners facing the decision of finding alternative sources of nutrients.

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Protecting Farm & Ranches from Wildfires

Tue, 04/19/2022 - 12:05
Sunday, May 1, 2022

Wildfires affect America’s farm and ranches, damaging and destroying homes, barns, agriculture production facilities, crops and livestock.  Recently we have dealt with a major fire in Furnas and Gosper counties.  Below are some tips to help avoid or minimize fire damage to your property.

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Corn Costs and Cattle Placement Weights

Thu, 03/24/2022 - 17:00
Friday, April 1, 2022

This article was first published by "In the Cattle Markets" on March 2, 2022.

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Matching Price Risk Management Tools to Market Situations

Thu, 03/24/2022 - 16:47
Friday, April 1, 2022

Much work has been done on illustrating the benefits and performance of price risk management tools available to livestock producers. These tools include futures and options available through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), video/cash contracts, basis contracts, and more recently Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance offered through USDA’s Risk Management Agency (USDA-RMA).

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Considerations for Beef Producers When Adding Small Ruminants to Their Operation

Thu, 03/24/2022 - 15:36
Friday, April 1, 2022

Beef producers may need to consider several items before adding small ruminants to their operation. Producers adding small ruminants to their operation have found that they could follow an old recommendation of adding a ewe or doe per cow without adjusting their stocking rate while improving their pasture utilization by 10-20%. Below are considerations when adding sheep or goats to a beef operation.

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Protein Supplementation in Corn Silage-Based Diets – A Review

Thu, 03/24/2022 - 14:25
Friday, April 1, 2022

This article is a summary of the 2022 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report, Impact of Urea on Corn Silage Growing Cattle Diets.

With current feed prices and the majority of the state experiencing dry conditions, producers may be evaluating alternative feed options for this year. Understanding differences in protein content and degradability of various feeds is important when determining the most cost-effective option while meeting cattle nutrient requirements.

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How Much Copper Do You Need in Your Mineral?

Wed, 03/23/2022 - 16:11
Friday, April 1, 2022

Copper (Cu) deficiency in cow/calf herds has been associated with increased rates of diarrhea and reduced calf growth.  Forages do not provide enough copper to meet the needs of beef cows and calves, thus supplementation is needed. However, it is important to note that both under and over supplementation can have negative effects on calf performance.

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Relieving Stress around the Branding Pen

Wed, 03/23/2022 - 13:43
Friday, April 1, 2022

Spring calving brings the promise of working calves, and in some areas of the state, branding season. Following is the challenge of gathering enough help at the right times to ensure proper vaccination, castration, and the other complements to our herd health programs. Priorities during this event typically include people safety and minimization of cattle stress.

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Pastures and Drought: Response and Impact

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 20:31
Friday, April 1, 2022

Few producers will complain about dry weather during calving.  Not having to worry about wet calves or fight the mud is definitely a blessing.  However, with a dry fall and open winter for much of Nebraska, the threat of drought going into the 2022 growing season may be cause to dust off and reevaluate our operation’s drought plan.

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Drought Planning Trigger Dates

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 16:52
Friday, April 1, 2022

A dry year last year and little moisture so far this year has led to depleted soil moisture conditions for much of the state. With National Weather Service forecasts showing a likely warmer than normal summer for Nebraska, combined with current low soil moisture, we do need to think about planning for dry conditions through the growing season. (See Figures 1-3)

 

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Horn Flies: Impact and Control Options for Pastured Cattle

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 16:16
Friday, April 1, 2022

As temperatures warm, pasture fly season is just around the corner. The horn fly, has been and continues to be a major fly pest of pasture and rangeland cattle across the U. S. During a warm spring in Nebraska, horn flies can be seen on cattle as early as the third week of April. Historically, horn flies appearing during this period may perish from cold fronts arriving later in the month, or in early May. Even with challenging weather conditions, the horn fly can adapt to these conditions by shortening the number of days to complete its life cycle.

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Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 14:45
Friday, April 1, 2022

The next session of “Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options,” Nebraska Extension’s four-part record-keeping course, will be held virtually from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. central time on April 18, 20, 25 and 27.

Participants should plan on attending each of the four workshop dates. The course requires participants to have an internet connection. 

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BQA Award-winning Producers Help Tackle Consumer Trust Objectives

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 14:26
Friday, April 1, 2022

Among its six committees, the Beef Checkoff’s “Consumer Trust Committee” supports programs that grow consumer trust in beef and beef production through greater adoption and understanding of industry best practices. The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is the industry’s library of information on best practices and serves as a hub for disseminating this information to cattle producers.

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What You Need to Know to be a Bottle Calf’s Mama

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 13:34
Friday, April 1, 2022

In the beef industry, the goal is to have each newborn calf paired up with a good cow who has adequate milk and plenty of maternal instincts. Unfortunately, there are times a calf ends up without a mother and becomes a bottle calf.

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How Valu-Bull are Breeding Soundness Exams?

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 11:34
Friday, April 1, 2022

We may be finishing the calving season, but it is never too early to be thinking about the breeding season. With the breeding season comes getting those bulls scheduled for their breeding soundness exam (BSE) and ensuring your bull battery are satisfactory breeders.

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Farmer/Rancher Generational Transition Workshop April 21 in Whitman and April 22 in Ainsworth

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 10:52
Friday, April 1, 2022

Family-owned operations make up 98% of U. S. agriculture. Transitioning the ranch from one generation to the next, or even from one operator to another can be complicated. Research from Oklahoma State University1 evaluated the probability of success for various agricultural transition plans. Family-owned businesses successfully transferred from the first generation to the second generation 30% of the time. However, success rates declined in subsequent generations.

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Don’t Panic! Preparing for Calving Season is Simple and Easy*

Fri, 02/25/2022 - 14:09
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

It’s the most wonderful, busy time of the year! No, Christmas is almost two months past. We are entering spring calving season! This is the time we get a first look at the outcome from the long thought-out decisions made on sire selection.

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Consider Price Insurance for Your 2022 Calf Crop

Fri, 02/25/2022 - 12:07
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

This article was first published in "Nebraska Cattleman" magazine's February 2022 issue.

Several enhancements and improvements to the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance program over the last couple of years have made it much more user-friendly for cow-calf producers to purchase price protection for the fall calf crop earlier in the year. These changes include:

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